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26 December 2008

Nippy Noel

What's the point of going to Cannes for Christmas if the weather is only going to be so crappy that one feels like one has never left Angleterre? The Riviera was gorgeous and sunny when I arrived on Christmas Eve before the weather rapidly deteriorated. Combined with a brief but very debilitating one-day cold, the pouring, freezing rain that engulfed the Croisette all of yesterday meant that our Christmas Day tradition of swimming in the sea was not upheld. In fact, we barely even got out the house at all apart from a very sodden walk along the Croisette where all the locals were wrapped up so much that they resembled the man in the iron mask (imprisoned in one of the islands just off the Cannes coast). Instead, we had an extended game of Monopoly that I won but because I didn't get the reds, I didn't care.

Despite the fact that I was feeling pretty crappy and that my eyes were constantly leaking water, we did still have dinner en dehors, in the space heater. At least this year, it consisted of hot food (very fine, medium rare beef, potatoes and even some almost Yorkshire puddings, followed by artisanal ice cream). I only needed to wear a coat, scarf and gloves, and sit under two blankets, including one which feels like half a sleeping bag. One day, the parents will understand that just because they're in France, if the weather is really cold, they don't have to eat outside (all our French neighbours think we're completely nuts, of course).

I wasn't quite feeling better enough to go running this morning but the weather did improve slightly so that we could go to Antibes for the day. The wind was ridiculously strong though--I've never seen the waves so high on the Mediterranean and I was worried that the sea spray would attack my new bag. 

Surprisingly, given the gaudiness of the film posters and adverts up during the film festival, the festive decorations in Cannes are reasonably low-key--a few little lights along the rue d'Antibes and then a tapis rouge of red lights along the Croisette. I've yet to leap on it, which will be my default if the weather really doesn't get back into double figures, preventing me from doing a marine leap. The whole town felt rather deserted today, even though all the shops were open. It isn't really the most festive place to spend Christmas but then...I'm not really the most festive of people.


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